01/22/2015 10:56 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

It's All About the Grape

I'm honored that the Bookstore in the Grove (in Coconut Grove) has come up with a new smoothie/shake named The Grapevine, after the Coconut Grove Grapevine, which is the daily news of Coconut Grove, Florida, of which I am the editor and publisher. Above, Andy is making one of the first tries at the drink, which goes well with the grilled-cheese sandwich, which we used to clean our palates between tasting the shakes.

I was at the Bookstore for breakfast early Sunday morning when Jason, the manager, came up to me to tell me that they had a new drink starting this week called The Grapevine, only so far, it was a name with no recipe. That's where I came in; he wanted me to come up with the drink.

I can barely boil water, let alone come up with a recipe for a smoothie or shake, but he said I had until Tuesday to do it, but right away I came up with something that I remembered from childhood. I wanted to keep "grape" as part of the recipe, and I remembered that when we were kids, maybe 5, 6, or 7 years old, my mother used to make us a chocolate shake for lunch, and she would put a couple of scoops of Welch's Grape Jelly in the shake. I think she got the idea from a friend's mother who invented it. I guess we kids would be out playing all day and didn't want to stop for lunch, so once in a while they would give us this for lunch. I don't remember having this since way back then, but it popped into my head.

So on Sunday morning, a few of us experimented at the Bookstore and came up with the right mixture. We did some research and development on the spot with customers in the store; the biggest complaint was that people couldn't taste the jelly, or that that the drink was too sweet, but I think it's down to perfection now, and it's now on the shake menu. They now offer shakes along with their fruit smoothies; the shakes are chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and The Grapevine. 
The shakes are $5, $6 and $7, depending on the size.